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The Four Continents—A Commission of Daniel Chester French: A Discussion with Harold Holzer

National Archives Museum

Monday, November 9, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST

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As part of the current conversation around public sculpture, monuments, and memorials, historian Harold Holzer will discuss the context, as well as the development and sculpting, of the Four Continents Statues of the U.S. Custom House in New York City.  Holzer will discuss Daniel Chester French’s design as representative of 20th-century America, his work with the Piccirilli sculptors, and the influence of Cass Gilbert, the building's architect, on the statues. A question-and-answer period led by Dr. Chris Baron, Columbia University, will follow Holzer’s presentation.

Flanking the main entrance to the landmark Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the Four Continents Statues, representing Asia, America, Europe, and Africa, are prime examples of the City Beautiful movement and national pride during the early 20th century.

This program is presented in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration and tenants of the building: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the National Archives at New York City, as well as Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.